'Two out of three women travelling in BMTC buses harassed'

'Two out of three women travelling in BMTC buses harassed'

Two out of three women who travel in BMTC buses face regular harassment from co-passengers, conductors and drivers, according to a survey by Bangalore Bus Prayanikara Vedike.

The survey, which interviewed 2,647 women, found 1,803 cases of harassment in buses reported i.e., 69 per cent of women faced sexual harassment in the form of  vulgar language, staring pointedly, physical attacks, touching, feeling, grabbing, indecent exposure, stalking, photographing or shooting videos without consent.

The Vedike, which has been protesting against the harassment, staged a protest at KR Market on Monday evening.

To create awareness on increasing incidents of harassment, the Vedike will observe the Bus Day, which is on 4th of every month as “Women in Black” Day.

The BMTC authorities, who accepted that safety of women passengers was of utmost importance, said adequate measures were being taken to ensure that no untoward incidents took place.

BMTC Managing Director Anjum Parvez said, “To ensure that there is no eve-teasing or cases of harassment with passengers on board, installation of CCTV cameras are planned on buses and at bus stops, since many cases of eve-teasing are also reported at bus stops. With cameras in place, it will be a deterrent for people.

We are hoping this will help substantially in bringing down the cases of any form of harassment on buses.”

Horrifying experience

Recalling her horror, Sunitha (name changed) said: “I used to take a BMTC bus everyday to commute between my office and home until I had a horrifying experience.

A male passenger who initially passed lewd remarks on me, tried to get close and even touched me while I was standing in the crowded bus. I complained about this to the BMTC authorities but nothing seems to have happened after my complaint.”

Bangalore Bus Prayanikara Vedike is a group of concerned individuals, organisations, artists and students campaigning since four months against the recently announced bus hike as well as demanding an effective system to address sexual harassment of women in the buses and many other commuter-oriented issues.

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